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Encyclopedia > Phytoplankton
Diagrams of some typical phytoplankton

Phytoplankton are the autotrophic component of plankton. The name comes from the Greek terms, phyton or "plant" and πλαγκτος ("planktos"), meaning "wanderer" or "drifter".[1] Most phytoplankton are too small to be individually seen with the unaided eye. However, when present in high enough numbers, they may appear as a green discoloration of the water due to the presence of chlorophyll within their cells (although the actual color may vary with the species of phytoplankton present due to varying levels of chlorophyll or the presence of accessory pigments such as phycobiliproteins). Image File history File links Download high resolution version (599x764, 25 KB)phytoplankton image uwe kils gfdl self File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (599x764, 25 KB)phytoplankton image uwe kils gfdl self File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Green (from chlorophyll) fronds of a maidenhair fern: a photoautotroph Flowchart to determine if a species is autotroph, heterotroph, or a subtype An autotroph (from the Greek autos = self and trophe = nutrition) is an organism that produces complex organic compounds from simple inorganic molecules and an external source of energy... For the SpongeBob SquarePants character, see Plankton (SpongeBob SquarePants). ... For other uses, see Plant (disambiguation). ... The naked eye is a figure of speech referring to human visual perception that is unaided by enhancing equipment, such as a telescope or binoculars. ... Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in most plants, algae, and cyanobacteria. ... Phycobiliproteins are water-soluble proteins present in cyanobacteria and certain algae (rhodophytes, cryptomonads, glaucocystophytes) that capture light energy which is then passed on to chlorophylls during photosynthesis. ...

Contents

Ecology

Phytoplankton bloom in the South Atlantic (February 15, 2006) seen from space
Phytoplankton bloom in the South Atlantic (February 15, 2006) seen from space
Phytoplankton bloom in the Baltic Proper (July 3, 2001)
Phytoplankton bloom in the Baltic Proper (July 3, 2001)

Phytoplankton obtain energy through a process called photosynthesis and must therefore live in the well-lit surface layer (termed the euphotic zone) of an ocean, sea, lake, or other body of water. Through photosynthesis, phytoplankton are responsible for much of the oxygen present in the Earth's atmosphere - up to 90%[citation needed]. Their cumulative energy fixation in carbon compounds (primary production) is the basis for the vast majority of oceanic and also many freshwater food webs (chemosynthesis is a notable exception). As a side note, one of the more remarkable food chains in the ocean — remarkable because of the small number of links — is that of phytoplankton fed on by krill (a type of shrimp) fed on by baleen whales. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2000x2600, 301 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages link to this file: Phytoplankton ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2000x2600, 301 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages link to this file: Phytoplankton ... Algal blooms can present problems for ecosystems and human society An algal bloom is a relatively rapid increase in the population of (usually) phytoplankton algae in an aquatic system. ... PD image; from NASAs Earth Observatory; http://earthobservatory. ... PD image; from NASAs Earth Observatory; http://earthobservatory. ... is the 184th day of the year (185th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ... The leaf is the primary site of photosynthesis in plants. ... The euphotic zone is the surface layer of the ocean where sufficient light is available for photosynthesis. ... Animated map exhibiting the worlds oceanic waters. ... This article is about the body of water. ... For other uses, see Lake (disambiguation). ... General Name, symbol, number oxygen, O, 8 Chemical series nonmetals, chalcogens Group, period, block 16, 2, p Appearance colourless (gas) colourless (liquid) Standard atomic weight 15. ... Air redirects here. ... Global oceanic and terrestrial photoautotroph abundance, from September 1997 to August 2000. ... For the village on the Isle of Wight, see Freshwater, Isle of Wight. ... Figure 1. ... Chemosynthesis is the biological conversion of 1 or more carbon molecules (usually carbon dioxide or methane) and nutrients into organic matter using the oxidation of inorganic molecules (e. ... Food chains, food webs and/or food networks describe the feeding relationships between species to another within an ecosystem. ... Families Euphausiidae Euphausia Dana, 1852 Meganyctiphanes Holt and W. M. Tattersall, 1905 Nematobrachion Calman, 1905 Nematoscelis G. O. Sars, 1883 Nyctiphanes G. O. Sars, 1883 Pseudeuphausia Hansen, 1910 Stylocheiron G. O. Sars, 1883 Tessarabrachion Hansen, 1911 Thysanoessa Brandt, 1851 Thysanopoda Latreille, 1831 Bentheuphausiidae Bentheuphausia amblyops Krill are shrimp-like marine... Baleen hair is attached to the baleen plate Baleen (also called whalebone) is a substance made of keratin and is therefore stiff but somewhat elastic. ... This article is about the animal. ...


Phytoplankton are also crucially dependent on minerals. These are primarily macronutrients such as nitrate, phosphate or silicic acid, whose availability is governed by the balance between the so-called biological pump and upwelling of deep, nutrient-rich waters. However, across large regions of the World Ocean such as the Southern Ocean, phytoplankton are also limited by the availability of the micronutrient iron. This has led to some scientists advocating iron fertilization as a means to counteract the accumulation of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere[2]. A macronutrient in ecology is an essential chemical element needed in large quantities by all living things in order to function normally. ... Trinitrate redirects here. ... A phosphate, in inorganic chemistry, is a salt of phosphoric acid. ... Silicic acid is a general name for a family of chemical compounds of silicon, hydrogen, and oxygen, with the general formula [SiOx(OH)4-2x]n. ... In oceanic biogeochemistry, the biological pump is the sum of a suite of biologically-mediated processes that transport carbon from the surface euphotic zone to the oceans interior. ... Upwelling is an oceanographic phenomenon that involves wind-driven motion of dense, cooler, and usually nutrient-rich water towards the ocean surface, replacing the warmer, usually nutrient-depleted surface water. ... The term World Ocean refers to the interconnected system of the planet Earths marine waters. ... Micronutrients for plants: There are about eight nutrients essential to plant growth and health that are only present in very small quantities. ... For other uses, see Iron (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that Ocean Nourishment be merged into this article or section. ... For other uses, see Atmosphere (disambiguation). ...


While almost all phytoplankton species are obligate photoautotrophs, there are some that are mixotrophic and other, non-pigmented species that are actually heterotrophic (the latter are often viewed as zooplankton). Of these, the best known are dinoflagellate genera such as Noctiluca and Dinophysis, that obtain organic carbon by ingesting other organisms or detrital material. Phototrophs or photoautotrophs are photosynthetic algae, fungi, bacteria and cyanobacteria which build up carbon dioxide and water into organic cell materials using energy from sunlight. ... The term mixotrophic can describe organisms (usually algae or bacteria) capable of deriving metabolic energy both from photosynthesis and from external energy sources. ... Flowchart to determine if a species is autotroph, heterotroph, or a subtype A heterotroph (Greek heterone = (an)other and trophe = nutrition) is an organism that requires organic substrates to get its carbon for growth and development. ... Photomontage of plankton organisms Plankton is the aggregate community of weakly swimming but mostly drifting small organisms that inhabit the water column of the ocean, seas, and bodies of freshwater. ... Classes Dinophyceae Noctiluciphyceae Syndiniophyceae The dinoflagella are a large group of flagellate protists. ... For other uses, see Genus (disambiguation). ... The Noctilucales are a peculiar order of marine dinoflagellates. ... The Dinophyceae are the main class of dinoflagellates, excluding only a few peculiar groups that appear to have diverged from the others early on. ... In general terms, eating (formally, ingestion) is the process of consuming something edible, i. ... In biology, detritus is organic waste material from decomposing dead plants or animals. ...


Groups

Diatoms
Diatoms
Dinoflagellate

The term phytoplankton encompasses all photoautotrophic microorganisms in aquatic food webs. Phytoplankton serve as the base of the aquatic food web, providing an essential ecological function for all aquatic life. However, unlike terrestrial communities, where most autotrophs are plants, phytoplankton are a diverse group, incorporating protistan eukaryotes and both eubacterial and archaebacterial prokaryotes. There are about 5,000 species of marine phytoplankton.[3] There is uncertainty in how such diversity has evolved in an environment where competition for only a few resources would suggest limited potential for niche differentiation.[4] Image File history File links Beautiful marine diatoms as seen through a microscope. ... Image File history File links Beautiful marine diatoms as seen through a microscope. ... Image File history File links Ceratium_hirundinella. ... Image File history File links Ceratium_hirundinella. ... Figure 1. ... Community is a set of people (or agents in a more abstract sense) with some shared element. ... u fuck in ua ... Typical phyla Rhodophyta (red algae) Chromista Heterokontophyta (heterokonts) Haptophyta Cryptophyta (cryptomonads) Alveolates Pyrrhophyta (dinoflagellates) Apicomplexa Ciliophora (ciliates) Excavates Euglenozoa Percolozoa Metamonada Rhizaria Radiolaria Foraminifera Cercozoa Amoebozoa Choanozoa Many others; classification varies The Kingdom Protista or Protoctista is one of the commonly recognized biological kingdoms, including all the eukaryotes except for... Kingdoms Animalia - Animals Fungi Plantae - Plants Chromalveolata Protista Alternative phylogeny Unikonta Opisthokonta Metazoa Choanozoa Eumycota Amoebozoa Bikonta Apusozoa Cabozoa Rhizaria Excavata Corticata Archaeplastida Chromalveolata Animals, plants, fungi, and protists are eukaryotes (IPA: ), organisms whose cells are organized into complex structures by internal membranes and a cytoskeleton. ... Subgroups Actinobacteria Aquificae Bacteroidetes/Chlorobi Chlamydiae/Verrucomicrobia Chloroflexi Chrysiogenetes Cyanobacteria Deferribacteres Deinococcus-Thermus Dictyoglomi Fibrobacteres/Acidobacteria Firmicutes Fusobacteria Gemmatimonadetes Nitrospirae Planctomycetes Proteobacteria Spirochaetes Thermodesulfobacteria Thermomicrobia Thermotogae Bacteria (singular: bacterium) are microscopic, unicellular organisms. ... Phyla / Classes Phylum Crenarchaeota Phylum Euryarchaeota     Halobacteria     Methanobacteria     Methanococci     Methanopyri     Archaeoglobi     Thermoplasmata     Thermococci Phylum Korarchaeota Phylum Nanoarchaeota The Archaea are a major group of prokaryotes. ... Prokaryotic bacteria cell structure Prokaryotes (IPA: //) are a group of organisms that lack a cell nucleus (= karyon), or any other membrane-bound organelles. ... The term niche differentiation (synonymous with niche segregation and niche separation), as it applies to the field of ecology, refers to the process by which natural selection drives competing species into different patterns of resource use or different niches. ...


In terms of numbers, the most important groups of phytoplankton include the diatoms, cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates, although many other groups of algae are represented. One group, the coccolithophorids, is responsible (in part) for the release of significant amounts of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) into the atmosphere. DMS is converted to sulfate and these sulfate molecules act as cloud condensation nuclei, increasing general cloud cover. In oligotrophic oceanic regions such as the Sargasso Sea or the South Pacific gyre, phytoplankton is dominated by the small sized cells, called picoplankton, mostly composed of cyanobacteria (Prochlorococcus, Synechococcus) and picoeucaryotes such as Micromonas. Orders Centrales Pennales Diatoms (Greek: (dia) = through + (temnein) = to cut, i. ... Orders The taxonomy is currently under revision. ... Classes Dinophyceae Noctiluciphyceae Syndiniophyceae The dinoflagella are a large group of flagellate protists. ... A seaweed (Laurencia) up close: the branches are multicellular and only about 1 mm thick. ... Coccolithophores (also called coccolithophorids) are single-celled algae, protists and phytoplankton belonging to the division haptophytes. ... Dimethyl sulfide causes that distinctive smell from your St. ... Air redirects here. ... Aerosol pollution over Northern India and Bangladesh - NASA Cloud condensation nuclei or CCNs (also known as cloud seeds) are small particles (typically 0. ... Oligotrophic refers to any environment that offers little to sustain life. ... An image of the distribution and size of eel larvae shows the approximate location of the Sargasso Sea. ... Pacific redirects here. ... A gyre is any manner of swirling vortex. ... Photosynthetic picoplankton is the fraction of the plankton performing photosynthesis composed by cells between 0. ... Orders The taxonomy is currently under revision. ... Prochlorococcus is a genus of marine cyanobacteria that now includes some three dozen species, differentiated on the basis of their ribosomal DNA. Sallie W. Chisholm of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Robert J. Olson of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and other collaborators (according to the Scientific American article listed... Species Skuja Fjerdingstad Skuja Rabenhorst Okada A. E. Bailey-Watts & J. Komárek Norris (Nägeli) Nägeli F. Hindák F. Hindák Wawrik Gardner Yoneda Copeland Jao Negoro Skuja (Pringsheim) Komárek Dor Komárek & Anagnostidis Grunow G.S. West Komárek Frémy Skuja (Moore & Carter) Kom... Species In taxonomy, Micromonas is a genus of algae, specifically of the Mamiellaceae. ...


References

  1. ^ Thurman, H. V. (1997). Introductory Oceanography. New Jersey, USA: Prentice Hall College. 
  2. ^ Richtel, M. (May 1, 2007), "Recruiting Plankton to Fight Global Warming", New York Times, <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/01/business/01plankton.html?ref=science>
  3. ^ Hallegraeff, G.M. (2003). Harmful algal blooms: a global overview. in Hallegraeff, G.M., Andewrson, D.M. and Cembella, A.D. (eds) 2003. Manual on Harmful Marine Microalgae. UNESCO, Paris
  4. ^ G.E. Hutchinson (1961). "The paradox of the plankton". Am. Nat. 95: 137-145. 

See also

Algae have conventionally been regarded as simple plants within the study of botany. ... Algae culture is a form of aquaculture involving the farming of species of algae for purposes of producing food or other products that can be extracted from the cultivated species. ... Bacterioplankton refers to the bacterial component of the plankton that drifts in the water column. ... In oceanic biogeochemistry, the biological pump is the sum of a suite of biologically-mediated processes that transport carbon from the surface euphotic zone to the oceans interior. ... It has been suggested that Ocean Nourishment be merged into this article or section. ... Microalgae are the most primitive form of plants. ... Change in sea surface pH caused by anthropogenic CO2 between the 1700s and the 1990s Ocean acidification is the name given to the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earths oceans, caused by their uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. ... Photosynthetic picoplankton is the fraction of the plankton performing photosynthesis composed by cells between 0. ... For the SpongeBob SquarePants character, see Plankton (SpongeBob SquarePants). ... Photomontage of plankton organisms Plankton is the aggregate community of weakly swimming but mostly drifting small organisms that inhabit the water column of the ocean, seas, and bodies of freshwater. ...

External links

  • NOAA, DMS and Climate
  • Plankton*Net : Images of planktonic species

  Results from FactBites:
 
Phytoplankton - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (467 words)
Phytoplankton are the autotrophic component of the plankton that drift in the water column.
Phytoplankton, like plants, obtain energy through a process called photosynthesis, and so must live in the well-lit surface layer (termed the euphotic zone) of an ocean, sea, or lake.
This led scientists to advocate iron fertilization as a possible means to counteract the accumulation of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO) in the atmosphere.
New Page (1389 words)
Phytoplankton are microscopic photosynthetic organisms found suspended in water (Figure 1).
Phytoplankton are found in most bodies of fresh and salt water, including channel catfish ponds.
The relative severity of these changes is affected by a number of factors such as water temperature, phytoplankton density and the percent of the phytoplankton community that died.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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